Sacred Books of the East/Volume 21/Chapter 23
At that moment the Lord Sâkyamuni, the Tathâgata, &c., darted a flash of light from the circle of hair between his eyebrows, one of the characteristic signs of a great man, by which flash of light hundred thousands of myriads of ko/is of Buddha-fields, equal to the sands of eighteen rivers Ganges, became illuminated. Beyond those Buddha-fields, equal, &c., is the world called Vairoianara^mipratimaw^ita (i.e. embellished by the rays of the sun). There dwells, lives, exists the Tathâgata named Kamaladalavimalanakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, who, surrounded and attended by a large and immense assembly of Bodhisattvas, preached the law. Immediately the ray of light flashing from the circle of hair between the eyebrows of the Lord Sâkyamuni, the Tathâgata, &c, filled the world Vairo^anarajmipratimatfdfita with a great lustre. In that world Vairoianara^mipratimatfdfita there was a Bodhisattva Mahâsattva called Gadgadasvara, who had planted roots of goodness, who had before seen similar luminous flashes emitted by many Tathdgatas, &c, and who had acquired many Samddhis, such as the Sam&dhi Dhvagâgrakeyûra (i. e. bracelet at the upper end of the banner staff), Saddharma-pundarîka (i.e. the Lotus of the True Law), Vimaladatta (i.e. given by Vimala), Nakshatrarâgavikrîdita (i.e. sport of the king of asterisms, the moon god), Anilambha, GVânamudrâ (i.e. the seal of science), Kandrapradîpa (i. e. moon-light), Sarvarutakauralya (i. e. skill in all sounds), Sarvapimyasamui^aya (i.e. compendium or collection of all piety), Prasâdavatî (i.e. the favourably-disposed lady), Riddhivikrîdita (i.e. sport of magic), Gânolkâ (i.e. torch of knowledge), VyAhar&fa (i.e. king of expansions or speculations), Vimalaprabhâ, (i.e. spotless lustre), Vimalagarbha (i.e. of spotless interior part), Apkritsna, Sftryâvarta (i. e. sun-turn); in short, he had acquired many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of Samâdhis equal to the sands of the river Ganges. Now, the flash of light came down upon that Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Gadgadasvara. Then the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Gadgadasvara rose from his seat, put his upper robe upon one shoulder, fixed his right knee on the ground, stretched his joined hands towards the Lord Buddha, and said to the Tathâgata Kamaladalavimalanakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña: O Lord, I would resort to the Saha-world to see, salute, wait upon the Lord Sâkyamuni, the Tathâgata, &c. ; to see and salute Ma#£uni, the prince royal; to see the Bodhisattvas Bhaisha^yarâga, Pradâna^Ara, Nakshatrarâgasankusumitabhi^»a, Visishtakâritra,Vy6harâga, Bhaishagyarâgasamudgata.
Then the Lord Kamaladalavimalanakshatrar&^asahkusumitdbhigña, the Tathâgata, &c., said to the Bodhisattva Mah&sattva Gadgadasvara: On coming to the Saha-world, young man of good family, thou must not conceive a low opinion of it. That world, young man of good family, has ups and downs, consists of earth, is replete with mountains of Kâla, filled with gutters. The Lord Sâkyamuni, the Tathâgata, &c., is short of stature, and so are the Bodhisattvas Mahâsattvas, whereas thou, young man of good family, hast got a body forty-two hundred thousand yoganas high, and myself have got a body sixty-eight hundred thousand yoganas high. And, young man of good family, thou art lovely, handsome, of pleasant appearance, endowed with a full bloom of extremely fine colour, and abundantly blest with hundred thousands of holy signs. Therefore then, young man of good family, when you have come to the Saha-world, do not conceive a low opinion of the Tathâgata, nor of the Bodhisattvas, nor of that Buddha-field.
Thus addressed, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Gadgadasvara said to the Lord Kamaladalavimalanakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the Tathâgata, &c.: I shall do, Lord, as the Lord commands; I shall go to that Saha-world by virtue of the Lords resolution, of the Lord's power, of the Lord's might, of the Lord's disposal, of the Lord's foresight. Whereon the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Gadgadasvara, without leaving that Buddha-field and without leaving his seat, plunged into so deep a meditation that immediately after, on a sudden, there appeared before the Tathlgata on the Grzdhrakfi/a-mountains in the Saha-world eighty-four hundred thousand myriads of ko/is of lotuses on gold stalks with silver leaves and with cups of the hue of rosy lotuses and Butea Frondosa.
On seeing the appearance of this mass of lotuses the Bodhisattva Mah&sattva Ma#fayii, the prince royal, asked the Lord .Sakyamunl, the Tath&gata, &c. : By what cause and by whom, O Lord, have been produced these eighty-four hundred thousand myriads of ko/is of lotuses on gold stalks with silver leaves and with cups of the hue of rosy lotuses and Butea Frondosa? Whereon the Lord replied to Ma^uxrl, the prince royal: It is, M&ngVisrl, the Bodhisattva Mah&sattva Gadgadasvara, who accompanied and attended by eighty-four hundred thousand myriads of ko/is of Bodhisattvas arrives from the east, from the world Vairo^anarasmipratimatfdfita, the Buddha-field of the Lord Kamaladalavimalanakshatrara^asankusumitdbhi^a, the Tathdgata, &c, at this Saha-world to see, salute, wait upon me, and to hear this Dharmaparylya of the Lotus of the True Law. Then Maw^unl, the prince royal, said to the Lord: What mass of roots of goodness, O Lord, has that young man of good family collected, that he has deserved to obtain such a distinction ? And what meditation is it, O Lord, that the Bodhisattva practises? Let us also learn that meditation, O Lord, and practise that meditation. And let us see that Bodhisattva, Lord; see how the colour, outward shape, character, figure, and behaviour of that Bodhisattva is. May the Lord deign to produce such a token that the Bodhisattva Mahisattva be admonished by it to come to this Saha-world.
Then the Lord Sâkyamuni, the Tathâgata, &c., said to the Lord Prabhûtaratna, the Tathâgata, &c., who was completely extinct : Produce such a token, Lord, that the Bodhisattva Mahisattva Gadgadasvara be admonished by it to come to this Saha- world. And the Lord Prabhûtaratna, the Tathâgata, &c, who was completely extinct, instantly produced a token in order to admonish the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Gadgadasvara (and said): Come, young man of good family, to this Saha-world; Ma#£U?ri, the prince royal, will hail thy coming. And the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Gadgadasvara, after humbly saluting the feet of the Lord Kamaladalavimalanakshatrard^asankusumit^bhi^a, the Tathâgata, &c., and after three times circumambulating him from left to right, vanished from the world Vairo£anarasmipratima«dfita, along with eighty-four hundred thousand myriads of ko/is of Bodhisattvas who surrounded and followed him, and arrived at this Saha-world, among a stir of Buddha-fields, a rain of lotuses, a noise of hundred thousands of myriads of kotis of musical instruments. His face showed eyes resembling blue lotuses, his body was gold-coloured, his person marked by a hundred thousand of holy signs; he sparkled with lustre, glowed with radiance, had limbs marked by the characteristic signs, and a body compact as N&rdyana's. Mounted on a tower made of seven precious substances, he moved through the sky to a height of seven Tdlas, surrounded by a host of Bodhisattvas, in the direction of this Saha-world, and approached the Grs'dhrakti/a, the king of mountains. At his arrival, he alighted from the tower, and went, with a necklace of pearls worth a hundred thousands, to the place where the Lord was sitting. After humbly saluting the feet of the Lord, and circumambulating him seven times from left to right, he offered him the necklace of pearls in token of homage, whereafter he said to the Lord: The Lord Kamaladalavimalanakshatrar^asankusumitdbhi£7*a, the Tath&gata, &c, inquires after the Lord's health, welfare, and sprightliness; whether he feels free from affliction and at ease. That Lord has also charged me to ask : Is there something thou hast to suffer or allow? the humours of the body are not in an unfavourable state? thy creatures are decent in manners, tractable, and easy to be healed? their bodies are clean ? They are not too passionate, I hope, not too irascible, not too unwise in their doings ? They are not jealous, Lord, not envious, not ungrateful to their father and mother, not impious, not heterodox, not unsubdued in mind, not unrestrained in sexual desires ? Are the creatures able to resist the Evil One? Has the Lord Prabhtitaratna, the Tathigata, &c, who is completely extinct, come to the Saha-world in order to hear the law, sitting in the centre of a StApa made of seven precious substances ? And as to that, Lord Prabhfitaratna, the Tath&gata, &c, the Lord Kamaladalavimalanakshatrar^asankusumit^bhi^»a, inquires : Is there something that the Lord Prabhfttaratna, &c., has to suffer or allow? Is the Lord Prabhfitaratna, &c., to stay long? We also, O Lord, are desirous of seeing the rudimentary frame of that Lord PrabhAtaratna, the Tathâgata, &c. May the Lord therefore please to show us the rudimentary frame of the Lord Prabhfitaratna, the Tathâgata, &c.
Then the Lord .Sâkyamuni, the Tathâgata, &c., said to the Lord Prabhtitaratna, the Tathâgata, &c., who was completely extinct: Lord, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Gadgadasvara here wishes to see the Lord Prabhfitaratna, the Tathâgata, &c., who is completely extinct. Whereon the Lord Prabhfitaratna, the Tathâgata, &c., spoke to the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Gadgadasvara in this strain: Well done, well done, young gentleman, that thou hast come hither in the desire to see the Lord .Sâkyamuni, the Tathâgata, &c. ; to hear this Dharmaparyâya of the Lotus of the True Law, and see Ma%uyrt, the prince royal.
Subsequently the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Padmasrf said to the Lord : What root of goodness has the Bodhisattva Mahisattva Gadgadasvara formerly planted? And in presence of which Tath&gata? And the Lord .Sâkyamuni, the Tathigata, &c., said to the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Padmasrf: In the days of yore, young man of good family, at a past period there appeared in the world a Tathigata called Meghadundubhisvararâga (i. e. the king of the drum-sound of the clouds), perfectly enlightened, endowed with science and conduct, a Sugata, &c., in the world Sarvabuddhasandarsana (i. e. sight or display of all Buddhas), in the Æon Priyadarsana. To that Lord Meghadundubhisvarar&£a the Bodhisattva Mah&sattva Gadgadasvara paid homage by making resound hundred thousands of musical instruments during twelve thousand years. He presented to him also eighty-four thousand vessels of seven precious substances. Under the preaching of the Tathdgata Meghadundubhisvarar^a, young man of good family, has the Bodhisattva Mahisattva Gadgadasvara obtained such a beauty as he now displays. Perhaps, young man of good family, thou hast some doubt, uncertainty or misgiving, (and thinkest) that at that time, that epoch, there was another Bodhisattva Mahsattva called Gadgadasvara, who paid that homage to the Lord Meghadundubhisvarar^a,the Tath&gata, and presented him the eighty-four thousand vessels- But, young man of good family, do not think so. For it was the very same Bodhisattva Mah£sattva Gadgadasvara, young man of good family, who paid that homage to the Lord Meghadundubhisvarard^a, the Tath&gata, and presented to him the eighty-four thousand vessels. So, young man of good family, the Bodhisattva Mahisattva Gadgadasvara has waited upon many Buddhas, has planted good roots under many Buddhas, and prepared the soil under each of them. And this Bodhisattva Mah&sattva Gadgadasvara had previously seen Lords Buddhas similar to the sands of the river Ganges. Dost thou see, Padmarri, how the Bodhisattva Mah&sattva Gadgadasvara now looks? Padma^ri replied: I do, Lord; I do, Sugata.
The Lord said: Now, Padmasri, this Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Gadgadasvara preaches this Dharmaparyâya of the Lotus of the True Law under many shapes he assumes; sometimes under the shape of Brahma, sometimes under that of Indra, sometimes under that of Siva, sometimes under that of Kubera, sometimes under that of a sovereign, sometimes under that of a duke, sometimes under that of a chief merchant, sometimes under that of a citizen, sometimes under that of a villager, sometimes under that of a Brâhman. Sometimes again the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Gadgadasvara preaches this Dharmaparyâya of the Lotus of the True Law under a monk's shape, sometimes under a nuns, sometimes under a male lay devotee's, sometimes under a female lay devotee's, sometimes under that of a chief merchant's wife, sometimes under that of a citizen's wife, sometimes under a boy's, sometimes under a girl's shape. With so many variations in the manner to show himself, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Gadgadasvara preaches this Dharmaparyâya of the Lotus of the True Law to creatures. He has even assumed the shape of a goblin to preach this Dharmaparyâya to such as were to be converted by a goblin. To some he has preached this Dharmaparyâya of the Lotus of the True Law under the shape of a demon, to some under a Garuda's, to some under a Kinnara's, to some under a great serpent's shape. Even to the beings in any of the wretched states, in the hells, the brute creation, Yamas realm, the Bodhisattva Mahisattva Gadgadasvara is a supporter. Even to the creatures in the gynæceums of this Saha-world has the Bodhisattva Mahisattva Gadgadasvara, after metamorphosing himself into a woman, preached this Dharmaparydya of the Lotus of the True Law. Verily, Padmarrt, the Bodhisattva Mahasattva Gadgadasvara is the supporter of the creatures living in this Saha-world K Under so many shapes, assumed at will, has the Bodhisattva Mahisattva Gadgadasvara preached this Dharma- parydya of the Lotus of the True Law to creatures. Yet, there is no diminution of wisdom, nor dimi- nution of magic power in that good man 2 . So many, young man of good family, are the manifestations of knowledge by which this Bodhisattva Mahisattva Gadgadasvara has made himself known in this Saha- world. In other worlds also, similar to the sands of the river Ganges, he preaches the law, under the shape of a Bodhisattva to such as must be converted by a Bodhisattva ; under the shape of a disciple to such as must be converted by a disciple ; under the shape of a Pratyekabuddha to such as must be con-
Vdyu, pr£«a, breath of life, is the supporter of creatures.
Satpurusha; the real meaning is 'the existing spirit;' air, breath, life, which shows itself in a diversity of forms. That living breath is not only the supporter of creatures, but also a constant admonisher of the transitoriness of life, who addresses his call to young and old, sages and fools, &c. The important mystic rite of inspiration and expiration is described by Spence Hardy, Eastern Monachism, p. 267 ; no less value is attached to pr&fiayi ma in the Yoga system and in Indian mysticism in general ; see e. g. Yogasstra II, 49-51; Sarvadarsana-Sangraha, p. 175; the term pr£ny&ma not only denotes stopping of the breath, as the Dictionaries explain it, but also the regulation and measuring of the breath. verted by a Pratyekabuddha ; under the shape of a Tathdgata to such as must be converted by a Tath£- gata. Nay, he will show to those who must be con- verted by a relic of the Tathigata himself such a relic, and to those who must be converted by com- plete extinction he will show himself completely extinct. Such is the powerful knowledge, Padma^rf, the Bodhisattva Mahdsattva is possessed of.
Thereafter the Bodhisattva MahAsattva Padma^rt said to the Lord : The Bodhisattva Mah&sattva Gadgadasvara then has planted good roots, Lord. What meditation is it, Lord, whereby the Bodhisattva Mah&sattva Gadgadasvara, with unshaken firmness, has converted (or educated) so many creatures ? Whereupon the Lord ^kyamuni, the Tathigata, &c, replied to the Bodhisattva Mahdsattva Padmairt : It is, young man of good family, the meditation termed Sarvartipasandarcana. By steadiness in it has the Bodhisattva Mahisattva Gadgadasvara so immensely promoted the weal of creatures.
While this chapter of Gadgadasvara was being expounded 2 , all the eighty-four hundred thousand myriads of ko/is of Bodhisattvas Mah&sattvas who, along with the Bodhisattva Mahdsattva Gadgada- svara, had come to the Saha-world, obtained the
It need not be observed that the chapter was not expounded, the Buddha being one of the dramatis personæ, one of the interlocutors, but not the narrator. This confusion between epical and dramatical exposition is one of the most striking features of the Lotus. The Saddharma, the law of nature, may be said to have been expounded by the TathSgata, not, however, the composition which bears that title. D d 2 meditation Sarvartipasandarcana, and as to the number of Bodhisattvas Mah&sattvas of this Saha-world obtaining the meditation Sarvartipasandansana, it was beyond calculation.
Then the Bodhisattva Mah&sattva Gadgadasvara, after having paid great and ample worship to the Lord .S&kyamuni, the Tath&gata, &c, and at the Sttipa of relics of the Lord Prabhtitaratna, the TathA- gata, &c, again mounted the tower made of seven precious substances, among the stir of the fields, the rain of lotuses, the noise of hundred thousands of myriads of ko/is of musical instruments, and with the eighty-four hundred thousand myriads of ko/is of Bodhisattvas surrounding and following him, returned to his own Buddha-field. At his arrival there he said to the Lord Kamaladalavimalanakshatrarasankusumitbhia, the Tathdgata, &c. : O Lord, I have in the Saha-world promoted the weal of creatures; I have seen and saluted the Sttipa of relics of the Lord Prabhtitaratna, the Tath&gata, &c. ; I have seen and saluted the Lord .S&kyamuni, the Tath&gata, &c. ; I have seen M&ngusrl, the prince royal, as well as the Bodhisattva Bhaisha^yar&^a, who is possessed of mighty knowledge and impetuosity 2 , and the Bodhisattva Mah&sattva Prad&n&rAra; and these eighty-four hundred thousand myriads of kotis of
This quality stamps Bhaisha^yara^a as Rudra; cf. Rig-veda II, 33, 7. He is essentially the same with Dhanvantari the physician, Arcitenens Apollo. He is, moreover, the same with Gadgadasvara, who is represented as breath of life. About the system of splitting up one natural phenomenon or abstraction into more beings, see p. 4, note. Bodhisattvas Mahâsattvas have all obtained the meditation termed Sarvarûpasandarsana.
And while this relation of the going and coming of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Gadgadasvara was being delivered, forty-two thousand Bodhisattvas acquired the faculty of acquiescence in future things, and the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Padmasrî acquired the meditation called the Lotus of the True Law.
- Of uncertain meaning.
- Burnouf has read Kandraprabha, moon-bright.
- I.e. belonging to the mystic rite, called Âpokasina in Pâli; for which I refer to Spence Hardy, Eastern Monachism, p. 252 seq.
- Gûthodilla or Gûthodigalla; according to Burnouf the word means 'ordures;' cf. above, p. 142, and Pâli oligalla.
- Spence Hardy, Manual of Buddhism, p. 364: 'Buddha is sometimes said to be twelve cubits in height, and sometimes eighteen cubits.'
- That is considerably more than Râhu, the eclipse, was possessed of, his body being no more than forty-eight hundred yoganas high; Spence Hardy, I. c.
- Or spans. There are seven regions of winds. Vâyu, the god of wind or air, is nearly akin to Indra and Vishnu.
- Yâpanîya; it is a usual medical term applied to diseases which can be alleviated to a certain extent by means of palliatives, but can no longer be cured. It is manifest from the sequel that here also the term is derived from medical practice.
- Dhâtuvigraha, the frame of the elementary parts, of the bone relics.
- In the margin is added the common phrase, 'at a time more incalculable than incalculable Æons.'
- Or somewhere.
- From this one may infer that Gadgadasvara, i.e. he who has an interrupted sound, is Vâyu, πνεύμα, inspiration personified. Materially, though not mythologically, Wind is identical with Rudra, Storm.
- Iyadbhî rûpasandarsaneryâpathaih.
- Gadgadasvara, being both inspiration and expiration, appears under the form of a dead corpse, and thereby converts fickle and thoughtless men.
- After a last effort the storm subsides.